Ohie Toshio and the Perfection of the Japanese Book
Bookbinder Ohie Toshio (b. 1949) is an exemplar of the long Japanese tradition of adopting and adapting foreign art forms. The practice of bookbinding was first introduced in Japan by Ohie in 1974 after studying the art in France. Through Ohie’s efforts patrons began to see their favorite works of literature as treasures to be enshrined in a splendid binding, enhanced by graphic design and materials developed to suit the writing, and with illustrations by esteemed artists. Decorative bookbinding had to first be brought in line with Japanese tastes before local audiences could appreciate it. Ohie’s patrons were convinced to appreciate leather-bound books through the introduction of deluxe Japanese papers, the use of leather onlays in Japanese color harmonies, and the incorporation of frontispiece illustrations by popular Japanese artists. Forty-six works of bookbinding, illustration and photography display the complexity and fine crafting of these collaborative art works.
This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and supported in part by the Nomura Foundation. In-kind support was provided by John Solt.